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The Tosh Library
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
One thinks that being a writer, one would want to have the largest audience or readers possible. This, of course, is understandable. But to be honest, I prefer a smaller readership. I like to get paid, of course, but so far, that hasn’t happened. Nevertheless, I don’t know why I write. I suspect it is to leave something on this planet when I’m gone and buried, or my ashes dropped off in the Shibuya street crossing in front of the station. Also, I would like to make my residence into a museum devoted to… me as much as possible. I have a lot of good friends, but I think my record and book collection speaks more of me than any human being I know. I have met fascinating people, but I spent more time choosing the right book or album for my library. Also, I’m pretty aware that all my writings are on a computer and not on actual paper. So I plan to write first on the computer, print it out, and make a lot of markings on the manuscript so people out there can see my work in progress. Technology makes everything neat and precise, but the ‘real’ world is quite messy. People don’t go to museums to see neatness; they look at the drama and tears of the making of that art.
So I wrote a will to express my desire to have my collection intact after I pass away. “I give and bequeath all the remaining works of art executed by me in my collection to an American city that will agree to build or assign and maintain permanent quarters. Exclusively for these works of art and assure their physical survival with the explicit requirement that none of these works of art will be sold, given, or exchanged but are to be retained in the place described above exclusively assigned to them in perpetuity for exhibition and study.” I thought it was best to have a museum in America because the text will all be in English. I’m paranoid that my work will be mistranslated. I have approached various universities around the country, and so far, most of them have told me, “we never heard of you.” This is accurate at the moment, but I think that’s such a so short-sighted thing to say to a writer, no?
Acting in accordance with my count, I have 2,752 books and 1,434 albums. I imagine that at the very least, if I can have a room that is 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet and have a couple of display cases for my manuscripts and correspondence (which, to be honest, will have to be print-outs of my e-mail), I think it will make a charming and permanent exhibition. Also, perhaps over the years, from the collection of fees collected at the door and the hopeful (future) home of my collection, they will be able to collect funds from the non-profit world. With the funds, I’m hoping that they can invite scholars to come and give talks about my writing and my collection. Perhaps even a panel discussion or two.
I think, looking back now, the fascinating aspect of my writing career is the lack of such a job. I’m sure scholars will be scratching their heads over this one for years to come. I stopped participating in the literary world due that it wasn’t of my making. Some claim that I couldn’t get my books published, but that’s not the point here. The specific issue I want to make is that I live here, and this is my world. Therefore there must be a representation of my world.